30 Jul
Event Notes: “Elections and Libya’s Democratic Transition”

On Tuesday, July 27th, 2015, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) held an event titled “Elections and Libya’s Democratic Transition,” featuring a conversation with Dr. Emad Alsaiah, chairman of the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC). IFES President Bill Sweeney introduced Alsaiah, highlighting his role in establishing an election commission in Libya and serving as the technician for the 2012 election, where he oversaw a period of voting that ...

30 Jul
Highlights of the 2014 State Dept. Human Rights Report on Iraq

The State Department released its 2014 Human Rights Report for Iraq, which noted that the majority of the country’s  human rights violations were committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Despite free and fair national parliamentary elections, which led to a peaceful transition in power, ISIL committed human rights violations such as; "large scale and frequent killings, attacks and offensive operations over large areas of the country; abuses against ...

29 Jul
Turkey Begins Airstrike Campaign, Motives Questioned

Photo Credit: Nath Paresh On July 20th, a suicide bombing killed over 30 people in the town of Suruc, a mainly Kurdish town, where a group of youth activists were meeting before traveling to Syria to help rebuild the town ...

29 Jul
Highlights of the 2014 State Dept. Human Rights Report on Syria

The State Department released its 2014 Human Rights Report for Syria, which noted that the majority of the country’s  human rights violations were committed by President Bashar al-Assad in response to "major political conflict" within the country. The Assad regime used "deadly military force" against civilians throughout the country to end peaceful protests calling for political reform and democracy. Air and ground-based military assaults ordered by Assad targeted  cities, residential areas, and civilian infrastructure. ...

22 Jul
Inspector General Releases Report on U.S. Embassy in Tunis

Photo credit: U.S Department of State On July 16, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of State released the findings of its inspection of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, conducted from February 17 to March ...

17 Jul
Yemen’s Exiled VP Announces “Liberation” of Aden

Photo Credit: Saleh Al-Obeid, AFP Yemen’s exiled vice president Khaled Bahah announced on his Facebook page today “the liberation of the province of Aden,” after an offensive by pro-government forces to drive Houthi rebels out of the southern province began ...

16 Jul
Arab World and Turkey React to Iran Nuclear Deal

Photo credit: AP Government officials across the Arab world and Turkey responded to the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 on Tuesday. While official reactions generally praised the deal, many qualified their comments with a sense of hesitation. The Turkish ...

16 Jul
Policymakers React to the Signing of Iran Nuclear Deal

On July 14th, the P5+1 countries and Iran signed a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that seeks to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is used solely for peaceful purposes. The nuclear deal now awaits U.S. congressional approval within the ...

16 Jul
Highlights of the 2014 State Dept. Algeria Human Rights Report

The State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014, and the following pertains to the sections on Algeria. The lists the three most serious human rights concerns as “restrictions on the freedom of assembly and association, lack of judicial independence and impartiality, and overuse use of pretrial detention.” The report also states that impunity is a problem among security elements. There were reports of coerced confessions ...

15 Jul
Hearing Notes: “Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Transition”

On Tuesday, July 14th, 2015, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa met for a hearing entitled “Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Transition.” Witnesses included Mark Green, President of the International Republican Institute, Leslie Campbell, Senior Associate and Regional Director of the National Democratic Institute, Aaron Zelin, Richard Borow Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and William Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of ...

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